Not on my way to Buffalo

I should start a category called “not on my way to someplace I should be on my way to.”

Once again, weather has intervened in my travel plans. Stephanie and I left the apartment blissfully unaware that severe thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes across the midwest (in particular our Chicago connection) caused our 11:30pm departure to be held until 2AM! Which is doubly inconvenient as it eats completely into our 2 and a half hour layover in Chicago. Let’s just hope that the flight to Buffalo is also delayed, because every other non-American Airlines flight Friday from Chicago to Buffalo is apparently sold out.

The good news is, at least I have some time to get caught up on my blogging.

Update: (Friday June 8, 4:20) Last night things went from bad to worse. At 2am they told us the flight crew was illegal to fly. HAD THEY KNOWN THIS EARLIER, we could have taken one of the last BART trains home, gotten some sane sleep, gone to work on Friday, and done the same itinerary, just a day later. Instead, we were stuck at SFO. Rather than canceling the flight, the earliest it could depart was 6:30am. And because no one was supposed to be in that terminal at that time, they’d shut off the heat. So it was cold. So we got some airplane blankets and did the best we could sleeping on the floor.

We eventually did make it on the plane and miraculously I slept pretty much the whole way. We arrived in Chicago just after noon, got on standby on an oversold flight to Buffalo leaving at 1:45. Suffice it to say, we did not get on that flight. So after a groggy combination of talking to gate agents and calling the reservations number, we are booked on a flight from Chicago to Buffalo tomorrow morning (a day late), we’re on standby for a oversold flight tonight at 8pm, and we got an insulting “distressed traveler rate” of $89 at a nearby hotel. You bet I’m distressed. Looking on the bright side, at least I can take a shower.

Update: (Saturday June 9) Stephanie and I got on that oversold flight at 8pm Friday night and made it to Buffalo around 10:30pm, about 12 hours later than planned. We felt triumphant.

Update: My response to American Airlines:

I appreciate your gesture of doling out 10,000 miles for the travel experience I endured Jun 7-8, though it doesn’t begin to repair what I experienced. A full and complete refund would be more like it. I spent $408 and used 50,000 miles to purchase tickets for myself and my girlfriend. This is my story.

We arrived at SFO at 10:30pm to discover that our 11:30pm flight to Chicago had been delayed until 2am due to weather. Having arrived via public transportation (BART) which only runs until midnight, we could not return home. All we could do is hope that our connecting flight to Buffalo would be also delayed so we could make it.

At 2am the gate agent informs us that the crew is illegal to fly! How you did not know this when you first delayed the flight is astounding. Rather than cancel it, we were told the earliest it could go out was 6:30am. So we “slept” in a cold empty airport with an airplane blanket, waiting another 4 hours for the flight.

We finally depart at 6:30am, our connecting flight having long since departed, and the next flight to Buffalo (2pm) is sold out. So we get on standby for a sold out 8pm flight, and are offered an insulting distressed travelers rate of $90 at a local hotel. I would also like to be refunded for that.

We use the hotel to shower, nap, then return to the airport with little hope of getting on the 8pm flight. Lo and behold, they can accommodate us. We arrive in Buffalo at 10:30pm, a painful 12 hours late for my grandfather’s 90th birthday.



i hope you get there! it will be upsetting if you cant….lisa!

I think we’ve learned a lesson, which is check the flight status/departure time before leaving the house.


hahaha ya well looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Poor babies! I hope this blog category of not getting where you’re going never has any more entries ever again. Stupid airlines.


this is one reason i’ve pretty much stopped flying altogether. they turned off the heat??

[…] Unlike many of our trips together, things went really smoothly (flight on time, no fuel leaks, no extreme weather, no turbulence, even landed a bit early). A free shuttle brought me to the hotel and I slept from […]

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